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Knowledge integration of and by design

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The capability to integrate across a range of specialized knowledge bases is a
crucial contemporary source of competitive advantage, and the field of
knowledge integration aims at structuring the issues. The purpose of this
paper is to explore the possible uses, benefits, limitations and future
directions of a formal knowledge integration perspective on design
management. The paper develops the concepts of management thinking and
design(erly) thinking, and questions the contention. With a knowledge
perspective, design management may be seen as including the capability to
integrate specialized, distributed and heterogeneous knowledge bases.
Consequences regarding the characteristics of scope, flexibility and efficiency
of knowledge integration indicate both greater difficulties and greater
possibilities. Regarding the architecture of knowledge, the integration of
design indicates a functional orientation and a limited role for design, while
integration by design may indicate a strategic role. Also, whether integration
of design or by design, the construction of common knowledge, bridging the
specialized fields, seems a prerequisite for the effective knowledge
integration of management thinking and designerly thinking


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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